Human bodies capture attention in both natural and uniform grey scenes

Kroll, V.R., Dunn, A.K. ORCID: 0000-0003-3226-1734, Howard, J.C. and Baguley, T., 2012. Human bodies capture attention in both natural and uniform grey scenes. Perception, 41 (12), p. 1520. ISSN 0301-0066

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Human bodies are socially and biologically significant stimuli. Several behavioural studies have demonstrated that bodies may have an attentional advantage over other objects (e.g. Ro et al 2007, Vis Cog, 15, 322-348; Downing et al 2004, Cognition, 93, B27–B38). We used a variant of the additional singleton paradigm to investigate whether human bodies engage attention. Within the experiment, we used ladybirds as the non-body targets and human bodies (without the head) as the irrelevant distractors. In a within-subjects design, participants ( N = 42) made speeded target present/absent judgments in two types of background scene (natural and uniform grey) for 4 target/distractor arrangements: (1) target present/distractor present (2) target absent/distractor absent, (3) target present/distractor absent, and (4) target absent/distractor present. The results showed no effect of background scene ( p > 0.05). There was an effect of target/distractor arrangement whereby responses in target present/distractor absent scenes was significantly faster than responses in target present/distractor present scenes ( p < 0.05), irrespective of background scene. The slowest responses were in the target absent/distractor present and target absent/distractor absent scenes. However, within the natural scenes there was no difference in performance between the target present/distractor present scenes and target absent/distractor absent ( p > 0.05). Conversely, within the grey scenes performance was significantly faster in the target present/ distractor present scenes than the target absent/distractor absent scenes ( p < 0.05). Consistent with Ro et al (2007) and Downing et al (2004), we offer evidence in favour of an attention capture by human bodies, within both natural and uniform grey background scenes.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: Abstract from Applied Vision Association (AVA) Christmas Meeting, London, 18 December 2012
Publication Title: Perception
Creators: Kroll, V.R., Dunn, A.K., Howard, J.C. and Baguley, T.
Publisher: Pion
Date: 2012
Volume: 41
Number: 12
ISSN: 0301-0066
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:50
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:41

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